I was driving today and listening to NPR. I guess because it's a pseudo-holiday, one of the shows was a rebroadcast of a discussion with Professor Michael Sandel, a political philosopher at Harvard. He was talking about justice, morality and philosophy, and how those concepts apply to everyday political issues. He said one thing that I thought illustrates the striking difference between how left & right perceive the world, and particularly the difference between those who advocate collectivism, versus those who prefer individual freedom. I don't have a transcript so this is a paraphrase, but he said something like the following.
Let's look at judges. How much does the Chief Justice of the U.S. make, a couple hundred thousand a year? But there is a judge that makes $25 million a year: Judge Judy. Is it just that she makes so much more than the chief justice? Could you reasonably argue that she deserves that far greater amount? I don't think so.
When I heard that I thought, what a typical leftist comment. Who are you to decide whether one person deserves more money than the other? It has nothing to do with justice. People like this professor don't like the free market. They think they are better equipped to decide who gets what. This is how wealth redistribution is justified. They don't think it's fair that person X makes more money than person Y. Therefore, they will take money from person X by force, and give it to person Y. And what if you don't like this, or disagree with their opinion about what is "just"? Well, that's too bad. If you get in their way or resist, they'll throw you in jail. They don't like freedom at all. They deny this, and attempt to get around it by redefining freedom to mean getting things you need. They'll say things like "you aren't free if you don't have enough to eat, or you don't have adequate health care." But by that definition it's better to be a well-fed, well-taken care of slave, than a free person who struggles to get by.
Any time you hear someone talking about how things aren't fair or just, and how some people don't deserve to make more money than others, ask yourself this. Who decides what is fair and just? And why is the opinon of those who think they should decide more important than freedom?